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Otter's policy stifles candor

Some semblance of the Bush administration's notorious policy of silencing employees from speaking freely seems to have seeped into the personnel rules of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. One casualty of Otter's speak-no-evil speech restrictions is highly regarded, longtime state Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Dave Parrish, who was demoted and transferred from Twin Falls to Boise after writing a letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the impact on wildlife of a proposed wind-power generating farm in the Magic Valley.

Some semblance of the Bush administration's notorious policy of silencing employees from speaking freely seems to have seeped into the personnel rules of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.

One casualty of Otter's speak-no-evil speech restrictions is highly regarded, longtime state Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Dave Parrish, who was demoted and transferred from Twin Falls to Boise after writing a letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the impact on wildlife of a proposed wind-power generating farm in the Magic Valley.

Fur began to fly after the letter appeared. A senior Republican legislator, Rep. Scott Bedke of Oakley, complained to Otter that Parrish had violated state policy. On the sidelines also complaining was Republican state Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson, who, coincidentally, has a nephew whose land might be used for the wind turbines.

Parrish's demotion came quickly thereafter.

Otter's policy requires state employees to submit press releases for review. Letters to the editor are not mentioned.

Parrish's sin seems to be that he gave his considered professional opinion on the impact of a wind farm on wildlife and suggested a scientific study of the project.

Fish and Game's... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Some semblance of the Bush administration's notorious policy of silencing employees from speaking freely seems to have seeped into the personnel rules of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.

One casualty of Otter's speak-no-evil speech restrictions is highly regarded, longtime state Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Dave Parrish, who was demoted and transferred from Twin Falls to Boise after writing a letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the impact on wildlife of a proposed wind-power generating farm in the Magic Valley.

Fur began to fly after the letter appeared. A senior Republican legislator, Rep. Scott Bedke of Oakley, complained to Otter that Parrish had violated state policy. On the sidelines also complaining was Republican state Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson, who, coincidentally, has a nephew whose land might be used for the wind turbines.

Parrish's demotion came quickly thereafter.

Otter's policy requires state employees to submit press releases for review. Letters to the editor are not mentioned.

Parrish's sin seems to be that he gave his considered professional opinion on the impact of a wind farm on wildlife and suggested a scientific study of the project.

Fish and Game's sin is that on behalf of the governor it has spread an icy chill on state employees. The message is keep your mouth shut, lest your job be in jeopardy.

This will deprive Idahoans as well as state lawmakers seeking candor and advice of the benefit of differing views and sound science on which good decisions should be made, rather than on rote coming from the governor's official voices.


Source: http://www.mtexpress.com/in...

AUG 13 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16476-otter-s-policy-stifles-candor
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